Christmas – it’s the most wonderful time of the year – especially for burglars.
Every November, December and January, residential burglary rates soar compared to the rest of the year. In London the burglary rate rises 19% on average during the festive season.
Not only do the long, dark nights provide cover for would-be burglars, but at this time of year, many UK households are ramping up for the holidays, filling their homes with precious gifts for their loved ones. And often sharing the love publicly.
But especially set against a challenging economic environment, where we are all feeling the effects, home security needs to be a top priority.
Here are our top tips for keeping your home secure over Christmas.
1. Deter thieves with visual surveillance
Home security doesn’t have to involve high-tech apps and multiple cameras, but adding video doorbells, intruder alarms, and visual surveillance systems at main entrance points will make a world of difference to the security of your home.
Now increasingly, they have been designed with remote viewing from your smartphone and digital recordings with smart search.
Whilst just the sight of a home surveillance system may be enough to deter the opportunist, for more professional criminals, make sure bell boxes are branded with a well-known security company such as Amthal.
Savvy burglars can easily spot the difference between a fake installation and a real monitored alarm, which is most likely to trigger an instant police response.
2. The Festival of Lights
Burglars can use the darker days around Christmas to conceal their break-ins from your neighbours.
Security lights placed around your home act as both a deterrent and an effective way to spot anyone trying to break into your home.
A lovely lit-up display of festive lights can also help to provide some much-needed illumination around your house at this time of year. But make sure any lights are wireless or battered powered to stop any trailing cables leading to open windows and an easy way into your home.
3. Keep the magic alive and your gifts out of sight
Try and keep gifts out of sight. The more valuables a thief believes you have, the more tempting your home becomes as a target.
The same is true for our Christmas Trees. Although seen as a statement and the ultimate way to celebrate the season, if it’s decked with lights and delicate decorations alongside the presents, it will also attract the attention of mindless thieves.
And whilst we’re discussing Christmas Trees, make sure if you have a real Christmas Tree, you keep it watered to avoid the fire safety risks so that this year is remembered for all the right reasons!
4. Don’t leave your home alone
If you’re going away for Christmas, do everything you can to ensure a burglar can’t find out.
An empty home means a burglar has more time to complete a robbery and get away unnoticed.
Burglars often look for signs that homeowners are on holiday, e.g. a post on social media, mail left by the door, empty driveways, and no lights being turned on for a long time. Do your best to not make it clear that you’re away:
• Don’t post about your holiday on social media until you’re home
• Ask a neighbour to check for mail every day
• Cancel any regular newsletters or any deliveries that could be left in view.
• Set a timer on your lights to give the impression that you’re home
5. Recycle packaging carefully
If you’re lucky enough to be gifted items at Christmas, be careful not to advertise your new valuables to burglars by leaving the packaging outside.
Fold packaging down (ideally inside out) to fit in your recycling bin, take it to your nearest recycling centre, or only put it out right before it’s due to be collected.
6. Deck your sheds, gardens and outbuildings with security
We may think we know the best way to secure our home, but also, we need to ensure any sheds and garages are protected too. A burglar could gain access to more gifts stored or even access to tools such as ladders that could help make a break-in easier.
Find out from Amthal
Says Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal Fire & Security: “Against everything we have faced this year with the cost of living challenges, many of us are really looking forward to the much-needed feeling of warmth and joy that comes with Christmas time. It would be absolutely devastating to suffer a burglary now.
“We are urging all homeowners to not only remember the basics and ensure windows and doors are locked, but also take extra precautions for their home, to make sure the whole family can really appreciate the beauty of this time of year.”
If you would like to find out more information about home security, get in touch with Amthal’s experts today.
All our contact details can be found below.